Ranked choice voting not a partisan issue

Dear Editor:

In 2007, five Republicans and five Democrats sponsored a bill to implement ranked choice voting in Maine (LD585). The Maine Republican Party uses a run-off election system, similar in nature to ranked choice voting, to elect its own party leaders. The Republican Party in other states also use ranked choice voting or other run-off election systems to elect their state party leaders, and “red” states like Texas use traditional run-off voting and in some cases ranked choice voting for their primaries and/or other elections (i.e. for overseas and military ballots).

Ranked choice voting is not a partisan issue. It has been supported by Republicans, Democrats and independents in Maine and used in various places around the nation and the world for years. It is simply a form of run-off voting used for elections with more than two candidates, just done with one ballot instead of an entirely new and more expensive run-off election.

As recently affirmed by the Maine Supreme Court, ranked choice voting is constitutional for use in the Maine primary elections for both state and federal offices and in the general elections for the federal offices. Ranked choice ballots are easy, and ranked choice voting empowers voters with more voice and more choice in their elections. It also makes sure that winners of elections with more than two candidates better reflect the actual will of the voters.

Please vote “Yes” on Question 1 on June 12 (and on absentee ballots and early ballots) to protect ranked choice voting in Maine and to send a strong message in support of all our recent referendums, including Medicare expansion, which passed with 59 percent of the vote and which is also being blocked in Augusta. All registered voters, including independents, can vote.

Ron Bilancia


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